Charity pledges billions at UN conference
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to spend more than $ 900 million over the next five years to fight malnutrition around the world, a move aimed at halting the rise in global hunger during the COVID-pandemic. 19 Thursday. Announcement. It’s one of many pledges made by private donors this week as world leaders gather in New York for the United Nations Annual General Assembly.
On Wednesday, a coalition of nine foundations said it would spend a total of $ 5 billion by 2030 to protect at least 30% of the land and seas on the so-called 30 × 30 planet. The Bloomberg Philanthropy pledges of former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the Washington-based Wis Foundation are considered the largest private pledges to protect biodiversity.
One of the donors, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, had previously announced Monday that his Bezos Earth Fund would allocate $ 1 billion to support conservation efforts. The pledge is part of Bezos’ pledge of $ 10 billion last year to tackle climate change, after years of criticism of Amazon’s carbon dioxide emissions. He resigned from the company in July.
His charity said it would focus its activities on the Congo Basin, the Andes and the tropics of the Pacific Ocean.
Separately, the Open Society Foundations, funded by George Soros, said Monday it would spend an additional $ 30.5 million to improve access to the COVID-19 vaccine in low-income countries.
According to experts, philanthropy chooses to announce a major initiative at the General Assembly to pay more attention to their commitments and influence the public agenda. “This is when you have a global audience, otherwise the audience will be more fragmented by the country,” said Paloma, a professor at Carleton University in Canada, who focuses on global philanthropy. ”Laggo said.
The General Assembly is also an important moment for the Foundation as it has played an important role in supporting the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 goals adopted during the 2015 rally. However, the critics have long argued that these agenda items need to be shaped and scrutinized more closely for the role private actors play in responding to them.
The Gates Foundation’s $ 922 million pledge is the biggest nutrition effort ever. The funds would be used, among other things, to advance the Foundation’s efforts to bypass the process of adding vitamins and minerals to common foods to improve the nutrition and nutritional value of poor mothers. Some experts criticize the approach and argue that the focus should be on food rather than nutrients. A Foundation spokesperson says the fortress is one of many ways to improve nutrition.
“It will help more people around the world get the nutrition they need to lead healthy lives,” Melinda French Gates said in a statement.
“And we hope that more donors, foundations, governments and private sector leaders will serve as invitations to step up investments today with bolder commitments,” she said.
Meanwhile, French Gates urges Congress to pass legislation guaranteeing paid family leave to all workers. She has met with executives in Washington this week to drive the policy, said a spokeswoman for investment and incubation firm French Gates Pivot Ventures. Vice President Kamala Harris’s office also said the two met on Tuesday to discuss a global response to COVID-19.
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